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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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their utterly dissimilar war aims.   " It was not a Polish crisis/5 commented
the Manchester Guardian^ cc but a crisis of the United Nations.    It was
not the partition of Poland, it was the partition of Europe."   Munich,
where Czecho-Slovakia had been laid on the operating table, was but a
small incident compared with the deal accomplished at Teheran.   The
Anglo-French proposals presented to the Czecho-Slovak Government,
in order to appease Hitler, were modest in comparison with those elabor-
ated for Poland in the Persian capital.    The agreement reached at Teheran
had something so unusual and out of keeping with the accepted rules of
nations and governments, that neither Roosevelt nor  Churchill  dared
reveal the full facts immediately to the British public and their Polish Ally.
It was only after several months had passed and urged by Russia, Churchill
finally announced that the claims of the U.S.S.R. were c just and proper'
and Poland had no c rights.5   Chamberlain had asserted in the Commons
that the charge of betraying Czecho-Slovakia was " simply preposterous."
He had e saved ' that country.    " My good friends," preached Chamber-
lain from the steps of Downing Street, úC this is the second time in our
history (he was comparing himself with Disraeli at the Congress of Berlin
in 1898) that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street
peace with honour.    I believe it is peace for our time."    In those days,
it was Churchill who had defended Czecho-Slovakia's right to a free
existence, although she was not an ally of Britain.   Many and numerous
speeches were made by him on this topic (they would form a handsome
volume), on his appraisal of this defeat of the Western Democracies.   He
had thundered in the Commons :
"... We have sustained a total unmitigated defeat, we are in the presence
of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and
France. Do not let us blind ourselves. We must expect that all countries
of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms with the triumphant
Nazi Power ....
" The road down the Danube, the road to the Black Sea and Turkey, has
been broken. It seems to me that all the countries of Middle Europe and
the Danube Valley, one after the other, will be drawn into the vast system
of Nazi politics, radiating from Berlin. I believe that can be achieved quite
smoothly and easily without firing a single shot ..."
Like Cassandra, he had foretold Germany's next moves, her intention
of putting Britain in chains. Yet in 1944, substituting Russia for Ger-
many, he was concluding a bargain, the like of which had never been con-
cluded before in the records of the Western World. On I9th September,
19385 the British and French Governments, addressing Prague, had., for
the sake of the " maintenance of peace and safety of Czecho-Slovakia,'5
asked them to transfer to the Reich the " districts mainly inhabited by
Sudeten Deutsch." They anticipated that " the area for transfer would
probably have to include areas over fifty per cent, of German inhabitants,"
and that the " international body referred to might be charged with
question of possible exchange of population ..." There were no such